National income tax was a crucial victory because that progressives after Gilded period when money ruled. The 16th Amendment, authorizing a national revenue tax, to be the an initial new amendment in 40 years.

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US Sen. Charles Schumer (D) of brand-new York discusses house Speaker man Boehner"s plan B on fiscal reform at the Capitol in Washington this past December. A century ago, progressives describe a national income tax v the idea the those that made much more would pay a greater rate 보다 those that made less.

Exactly a century ago, top top February 3, 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution to be ratified, authorizing a federal earnings tax. Congress turned it into a graduated tax, based upon “capacity to pay.”

It was among the signal win of the steady movement — the first constitutional modification in 40 years (the very first 10 had actually been had in the bill of Rights, the 11th and also 12th in 1789 and also 1804, and also three others in an effect of the polite War), mirroring a great political revolution in America. The 1880s and 1890s had actually been the Gilded Age, the moment of robber barons, when a tiny number controlled nearly all the country wealth as well as our democracy, once poverty had actually risen to document levels, and when the looked together though the country was destined to end up being a moneyed aristocracy.

But practically without warning, progressives reversed the tide. Teddy Roosevelt became president in 1901, pledging to break up the huge trusts and end the power of the “malefactors of great wealth.” laws were spreading protecting the public from impure foods and also drugs, and also from corrupt legislators. 

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By 1909 Democrats and progressive Republicans had actually swept countless state elections, subsequently establishing the 40-hour occupational week and other reforms the would later be the structure stones because that the brand-new Deal. Woodrow Wilson winner the 1912 presidential election. A progressive backlash against concentrated wealth and power emerged a century earlier in America. In the 1880s and also 1890s together a motion seemed improbable if not impossible. Only idealists and also dreamers thought the nation had the political will to revolutionary itself, allow alone spreading a constitutional amendment that such importance — analogous, today, come an revised reversing “Citizens united v. FEC” and limiting the circulation of large money into politics.